Losing the Baby Weight: You Don’t Want It Bad Enough

Posted By Eric 

I have never been someone to shy away from making bold statements, yet I can’t help the feeling that I am entering dangerous waters here. The subject is about women feeling the pressure to lose the baby weight. I feel the need to first say a few things before my house gets egged and toilet papered.  I have never, ever told my wife or any women that they need to lose weight so that they will look good. I actually think losing weight for the sole purpose to look good is completely dumb, unless you’re single and ready to mingle! However, I am a big advocate for being healthy and living a long, happy life.

Right now my wife is about 7 months post birth and I think she looks good. If I ever tell her to “go to the gym” it is only to train for athletic events she has signed up for. Yet, I constantly hear things like, “It’s just impossible to lose the extra pounds” or the famous, “She looks good after a few months…I hate her.” Then you have the Hollywood celebrities who are super thin within two months after giving birth. I don’t want to spend too much time on celebrities but THAT IS THEIR JOB. They spend three hours, five days a week at the gym so it makes sense that they look amazing after two months.

Jessica Alba just a few months after her second baby was born

So my claim is this: if you feel like you really want to lose weight but can’t, then you don’t want it bad enough. Like I already stated, I do not expect my wife to be super slim and in perfect shape. But if she really wanted to get that extra weight off, she would work harder. I wake up early to run four days a week and also go swimming during my lunch to train for a triathlon that I have not even signed up for yet! Okay, maybe my example is a bit crazy but my point is, you have to set a goal and go after it. One of Gaby’s famous lines is “I have to stop drinking soda,” but then two days later she is downing a Coke. I have zero issue with her drinking soda, but it does show me that she really doesn’t want to lose the baby weight.

Weight loss is not easy. Develop a plan and stick to it. Remember to develop a plan you can maintain long term and not just for a limited time. And next time you see a mom at the PTA meeting who is in great shape, give her credit for the amount of time and effort she puts into her daily routine. It’s hard work and she deserves kudos, not hate.

Posted By Gaby

Hmm, I wonder who you’ve heard “it’s just impossible to lose the pounds” from because I’m no dummy. The weight isn’t impossible to lose, it’s just really tough. I’d like to note that it took me 7 months to lose the baby weight; yes I’m technically at my pre-baby weight. The issue here for me is that there are many factors that aren’t taken into consideration for women after having a baby.

First, there’s this relatively new trend of stupid celebrities having babies and then “gracing” the cover of a magazine in a bikini six or fewer months after having the kid. I’m smart enough to know that they’ve got a team of stylists, nutritionists, and trainers to lose the weight, but there are two things that drive me crazy about these celebrities. One is that they give exaggerated responses to how quickly they lose the weight. “Oh, I’ve been breastfeeding and that burned the weight right off.” Yes, breastfeeding burns about 800 calories a day, but you’ve got to ingest more than you regularly do to ensure you’re giving your baby nutrients and keeping some for yourself. Add to that that some of these celebrities actually stop breastfeeding before the American Pediatrics Association recommend they do (usually they stop at 5-6 months when the APA recommends breastfeeding till about 12 months), after which time they can diet and exercise like maniacs.

These ridiculous magazines then create the second issue I have with these “post-baby” covers: crazy real moms. Look, I know many awesome women who are disciplined enough to lose weight and maintain a healthy workout and nutrition regimen. I have an aunt who is this way and I admire her for this and other reasons. But these aren’t the moms I’m talking about. I’m talking about the bitch on Facebook who’s telling us that she just finished a 30 minute session of Insanity cuz bikini season is two months away or the one that had a baby two days ago and is telling you she already fits into her pre-pregnancy jeans. My favorite was one woman who had a baby about three months before I did who posted, about the time I went back to work, that she had just gone running and then stated that “breastfeeding is for stay-at-home moms.” Okay, good for you, but I am planning to breastfeed till my baby is a year old, and I know lots of incredible moms who pumped while at work. Don’t criticize us for choosing our baby’s health over fitting into our skinny jeans right away.

For me, I think this is a direct result of those celebrity magazines and celebrity mom culture that feeds into the insecurities of real women and real moms. As much of a secure and comfortable woman I might be, I can get caught up in the need to keep up with other real moms in a similar situation. I don’t, however, get caught up wanting to look like whichever Kardashian had a baby. We’re on different levels and I thank God for that.

The other issue is how quickly one loses weight and one’s expectations of weight loss. I’m really glad I chose not to overindulge and decided to exercise during this pregnancy. Had I gone the route of my first pregnancy, I might have at least 10 more pounds to lose. I actually do have about 10 or so pounds to lose to be at the weight I was before having babies. Please keep in mind that even that weight, according to my BMI scale, isn’t my ideal weight. But that was a place I was comfortable in, was healthy, and I knew I could maintain it.

Anyway, I digress. About two months ago, I joined Weight Watchers to see if I could get back to my pre-baby weight. When I filled out the form, they told me that since I was exclusively nursing, I shouldn’t lose more than 2 pounds a week. What?! Two pounds a week? At that rate, I’d be at my pre-baby weight by the time little Jamiroquai turns a year old! With my daughter, I didn’t breastfeed exclusively for a number of reasons, and so I was able to lose weight faster. I had an unrealistic expectation that this time around, my discipline and my efforts to lead a healthier life would be rewarded by getting back to pre-babies weight pretty quickly. I realized that Weight Watchers wouldn’t be the solution to my problems and chose to save my money and just eat healthy. For the most part, I do eat healthy and do try to go to the gym at least once a week for about an hour. I just don’t have the energy and the time to go as often as I need to go to lose two pounds a week.

At this moment, I’m at pre-Jamiroquai weight and have plateaued. Here is where Eric does have a point: I don’t work hard enough for it. But there are factors, or excuses depending on how you see it, that keep me from being an active gym rat like my dear Eric. First, I commute and I take my baby with me to work. Eric can go swimming during his lunch hour but I don’t get a full lunch because I bring a demanding baby to work. Second, I have a stressful job. Sure, my job isn’t at the caliber of other high-stress jobs, but I supervise staff and interns, work in a fast-paced environment, and bring my baby to work, which adds more stress. So yes, after I’m done working, have driven my 30 minutes home, made dinner and helped our daughter with her homework, all I want to do is loaf on our awesome couch watching “How I Met Your Mother” re-runs.

Finally, I’m tired. All the time. I can’t tell you if it’s some health issue, stress, or the fact that for the last 4+ years, we’ve had a kid in our bed, but that is tiring. Eric argues that he now knows what it’s like to sleep with Chincilla in our bed, since he has her on his side of the bed while I have Jamiroquai. He says that he still has the energy to wake up at 5:30am and go running. Well good for freaking you! I don’t, and I do try. For some reason, it’s tough for me to get up. Could I force myself to go? Maybe. But would I actually work out at the level I would if I had enough energy? Probably not. I don’t sleep as much as Eric does, I just don’t. I’m constantly worried one kid might not be breathing or unjamming a foot out of my rib cage. The reality is that I might not get enough sleep till after the kids leave the house. Eric can say he doesn’t sleep, but this guy can sleep through quakes.

I realize this rant may not have convinced you that losing the baby weight is a direct result of me not wanting it bad enough. I do want it badly, but have things that get in the way.

[polldaddy poll=6629523]

9 Responses to “Losing the Baby Weight: You Don’t Want It Bad Enough”

  1. alex

    I think it boils down to what you love/hate more. It sounds to me like you do want to exercise but you’d rather get some rest. So you pick that over running and that’s understandable. I think the stuff at home that you mention can be handled by Eric for 30-60 minutes while you go and get a workout. I’ve heard him encouraging it but I think he nails it when he says “you just don’t want it bad enough.” And, there is nothing wrong with that either.

    • Gaby

      He does encourage me, but when I get home and our daughter hasn’t started her homework, or maybe she’s doing her homework, but he’s not working on it with her, it’s hard not to feel discouraged. He’s an amazing dad, don’t get me wrong, and he’s very helpful around the house, but I think he oversimplifies the issue. It’s not as black and white as “you don’t want it bad enough”.

  2. wtg22

    Well, having been in Gaby’s shoes, I’ve got to side with her, though I know there’s a kernel of truth to what Eric says. You may WANT to lose weight badly, but sometimes the goal is absolutely formidable when you factor in the realities of being a new mom. Breastfeeding, for one, makes it difficult to lose weight for some people. I thought that by breastfeeding I’d naturally lose pounds, but it didn’t happen that way for me. I was so hungry all the time because of the amount of calories it burns. And if I didn’t eat, the production of my milk went down. At the end of the day, feeding my baby was more important. So I guess you could say I wasn’t “motivated” to lose the weight quickly because my baby’s well-being came first.

    Still, I busted. my. ass. to get back in shape after my son. I have a back injury that doesn’t allow for me to workout strenuously, so I just had to suck it up and diet for months and months. Guys…I HATE DIETING. But I did it because I wasn’t comfortable with my body at its larger size. I know that if I wasn’t vigilant for all those months, the weight wouldn’t have come off…or at least the amount of weight that I shed (55 lbs in all) wouldn’t have come off. So yeah, I guess I “wanted it bad enough,” but it came at a great personal expense. I miss eating like a regular person.

    • Jeff Autenrieth

      I gotta side with Gabby on this one with a caveat that Eric has a point. I think in general as a society we’re not focused and there are too many things to distract us from our goals. “re runs of How I met your Mother” etc. are just the tip of the iceberg. The other thing to keep in mind is that while she’s breast feeding, it’s damn near impossible to stay up to par with energy and motivation. As a guy, I have no idea what it’s like, but I remember my wife trying to breast feed the kids and how tired she was just by having interrupted sleep patterns etc.
      Eric would attest that any decent workout regimen, by a professional, recommends at least 7+ hours of sleep a night for optimal performance/weight loss. When that’s not happening those 2lbs a week goal is a pipe dream. I’d recommend for a month or even 2 weeks Eric wake up every night one of the kids needs something and give Gabby an hour each night when she gets home to just go exercise. I bet you she makes a dent in her goals because she’ll be getting sleep and she’ll be consistent in working out.
      Gabby and every other woman that see’s E news or a magazine cover with a celebrity looking like they never had a kid, 2 months post pregnancy, is just ridiculous. Besides the reasons already listed by Eric with the team of nutritionists and resources etc. to lose the weight, keep in mind that most of these people are also much younger than us and still in prime calorie burning mode as well as genetic freaks most of the time.
      To a certain extent, if it “REALLY” bothered you, you would ask for help, make the time, prioritize your fitness to getting back to your goal weight. I think we’re wired to reach a point of satisfaction and just be ok from there. That’s why it’s usually silly to get back to a goal “weight” and focus more on feeling good and looking the way you want. As we get older, the weight isn’t as important as just being healthy.

    • Gaby

      Wendy, I think it’s amazing that you’ve been so disciplined to lose such a large amount of weight. 55 pounds is no joke. I’m not that disciplined, so I get where Eric comes from when he says not to “hate” on someone who looks good after putting in a lot of time at the gym. Jeff, you’re right, it is about being healthy and I agree with you and Eric on that. For me it does go beyond looks. It’s about having less knee pain when I run and knowing that my cholesterol is at a healthy level. And I can acknowledge that Eric does think I look good at my weight.

  3. Amanda

    Everyone is different and so is every pregnancy.

    My first two pregnancies were pretty much the same. I gained around 35-40 pounds. Yes I know that’s a lot. After my first one I had signed up with Curves and lost 29 pounds only to find out I was pregnant.

    After I had my second child I lost 10 pounds. Yes 10. I had a 9.03 pound baby and the only weight I lost was my child. WTH??? Now I didn’t join Curves this time. I had cut back on my hours at work and so some expences had to be cut. Plus having 2 kids in 2 years was pretty darn stressful. I for the most part did get my sleep. My oldest would sleep in his room while my youngest slept in his crib in our room till he was two. BUT there has to be something about being a mother that I think once you have a child you just can’t get that deep sleep you used to get. If my son in the next room coughs it wakes me up even when my husband is sawing logs louder than a chain saw.

    Now after I had my third child I only gained 28 pounds. I didn’t gain any weight untill after I reached 7 months. I had been so sick during my pregnancy that I was actually losing body weight while she was growing during those first 7 months. So once I had my 10 pound baby. I lost a total of 44 pounds. No exercise no dieting. Although I did breast feed for the first 3 weeks until I got an infection and my daughter weighed in below 8 pounds. Now I’ve been going for walks almost daily and have changed my eating habits but I haven’t lost anymore weight over the last 5 months. It’s discouraging but I don’t have a nutritionist, personal chef, and Nannies like the celebs do. And now that I’m a stay at home mom a gym membership is completely out of the question. Oh well, I’ll do what I can with what I’ve got. And one of these days I’ll get there.

    • Gaby

      Amanda, thanks for your comment. I think there are some times when you can lose weight faster than others and there are certain people that can lose weight faster than others. It’s incredibly commendable that you carve out time to walk every day especially with 3 kids and it’s great that you’re not letting a plateau discourage you. I think that’s the point I wanted to get across. Sometimes it’s not as easy for some to lose the weight as it is for Eric. To simply say you don’t want it enough is not a blanket statement that works for every situation.

  4. Jonelle

    OK. Gaby and Eric, my baby girl is 1 year old now. My son is 2.5. Both delivered via c-section and BOTH nursed. When he was born, I lost the baby weight extremely fast. Granted, I was not my post-body shape or tone, but the weight was gone! with my daughter, however, its been nuts! I will admit I have not been too conscious on my food quality intake. I do not eat fast food or microwavable food, we are all cook in the house and i do not eat bread OR pasta too much either. I know, being Italian is a stereotype for carb-central. But Im not the average Italian. I get full fast and eat small quantities, But my weakness is icecream or frozen yogurt. I do not snack on chips either! Its just been so damn hard! I signed up for crossfit, which I religiously attend 3 days a week for the past 2 months. I started my own business that keeps me busy 3-4 days a week and sometimes I get so busy I may miss a meal, which I know is not good either! I have a softball game once a week…AND raise 2 children…so WTF!!! I wonder, why these extra ‘dubs’ wont come off!!! SO, now I am doing a 9 day cleanse starting this weekend! Wish me luck and I will keep you posted!

    and to Eric, I want to lose the weight, I try like hell and keep busy like a spaz, but its not shedding!! I never miss a workout. I dont drink alcohol either….so, now what?!?!

    Guess Ill check back in a couple weeks to let you know if this cleanse works!


Leave a Reply

Basic HTML is allowed. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS